(Before + After} A Craigslist Makeover

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I have been veryveryvery busy lately forcing The Scientist to paint things for me. Every few hours he tries to take a break so I have to make sure I’m watching him closely. This prevents me from taking naps. It’s pretty exhausting.

Anywho, despite selling over half of our furniture before moving into our new apartment (sigh), we found ourselves needing to part with this striking beauty:

Goodbye, my lovely…

That’s an original mid-century credenza, people. I found it on Craigslist in Seattle 4 years ago and I’ve cherished it ever since. I made The Scientist move it around the apartment about 16 different times before I finally admitted to myself that we just couldn’t be together anymore… But then I remembered that The Scientist and I are married now so I had to say goodbye to the credenza instead. Less paperwork. (Just kidding! I adore my husband! He paints and moves furniture and has a nice beard. But if you still want to send me hate mail please use the submission form.)

After all my DC peeps finished fighting to the death over this gorgeous piece of furniture, I turned back to Craigslist in an attempt to find a suitable replacement. Since our place is so small I was looking for a vertical storage option I could fit at the bottom of the stairs. I didn’t expect to find anything as wonderful as Mr. Credenza but I was on the lookout for a piece with some potential.

This is what I found:

A happy Craigslist find!

That’s a Campaign-style hutch cabinet, friends. And it was only $45! After a seriously annoying text conversation with the owner I finally got to bring it home. It went something like this:

Me: Hi, I’m very interested in this hutch and can pick it up today at any time that’s convenient for you. Would you mind giving me the dimensions so I can ensure it will fit in my car and house? Thanks!

Her: I work today.

Me: Ok, no problem. I can also get it any time tomorrow. Would that work for you? I can work around your schedule.

Her: I don’t know. I work tomorrow.

Me: Ok… Just let me know which day/time works for you. Do you happen to have the dimensions?

Her: It’s small.

Me: Um, that’s good. I’m looking for a small cabinet. But do you happen to have the exact dimensions? And does the hutch disconnect from the base for transport?

Her: It’s really small. It will fit in any house.

Me: Right. My house is really small and so is my car. I can’t commit to buying it without the dimensions.

Her: (long pause then gives only height and width, not depth)

Me: Perfect! That sounds like exactly what I’m looking for. Just let me know when I can come get it and I’ll be there.

Her: Told you, told yooooooooooouuuuuuu…

Me: Um, yeah. And does the hutch disconnect from the base so I can get it in my car?

Her: I don’t know. Probably.

Me: (smacks forehead)

Once I made it through that nonsense and got it home, The Scientist got busy painting it. I chose a fresh, minty green because I thought it would brighten up the corner and look pretty with the brass hardware. Here’s what it looks like now!

Fresh and fun!

Doesn’t it look totally different?! That’s why paint is my best friend. I know this piece of furniture isn’t perfect but perfect is kind of boring. I much prefer perfectly imperfect. It has character! And it was only $50 total, after paint. Hooray!!! Tip: Don’t forget to use high-gloss paint when painting furniture!

Now we have a place for board games and special things. We use the bottom shelf (the top of the cabinet) for mail, keys, sunglasses, and other things we need to have handy. See my little owl? That’s a vintage wood napkin holder we found at an antique store a few years ago. Mr. Owl holds mail and other important papers and he looks good doing it.

The middle shelf is holding a few cute books and a bust of The Scientist I made a few years ago. I call him Captain Nice.

The top shelf holds a birdy bank for loose change, some photos of The Scientist and me, and some treasures from travels — like a shiny Russian Jesus (thanks, mom, for bringing that back for us!) and a little pink elephant.

And since there’s a bit of room left on the top I was able to put my Bahama Mama, my pretty old orange bottle, and another big framed photo.

So, what do you think of my perfectly imperfect little hutch cabinet makeover?


14 thoughts on “(Before + After} A Craigslist Makeover

  1. Lyndsey says:

    I want your help too! Now that wedding planning is over, it’s on to interior decorating!! And i think my co-workers looked at me funny as i was laughing out loud at the text exchange…..hilarious!

  2. Nancy says:

    Hello! I read about you in the Denver Post and saved it for future use :) You have really inspired me to get moving on my little apt.!! Question, you mentioned as a “tip” to paint furniture in a high gloss paint, and just wondering why? I’m about to paint my dining room table, but I chose a low-lustre black paint, but wanted your thoughts before I get started. Also, do you have a good neutral beige paint recommendation for a dining room?
    Thank you!

    1. Apartment Envy says:

      Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

      I always use high-gloss (or at least semi-gloss) paint on furniture because it helps keep it looking shiny and new. If you have ever tried washing a spot off a wall that’s painted in a flat finish you will know what I mean. You will probably wipe and wash the top of your dining table a lot, so it would be best to use a paint finish that will stand up to that. If you already painted it and find that you wish it had a protective coating, buy a can of clear paint and put a couple coats of that on top.

      Two of my favorite neutral beige paints are Benjamin Moore “Cedar Key” and “White Sand” — try them and see if they work in your space! :)

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